Well, after months of design and 6 weeks of construction, the TOTER-2 was finally launched last week. This updated
version of the original TOTER has some added desirable attributes. It now can seat 2 people in tandem. It can use a nonmodified
trolling motor for power. It has built-in buoyancy. It has some enclosed space. And, it can be built as a daysailer.
All this in the same size package, 3' x 3' x 1.5' when nested. This means it can fit in the trunk of many Cars, and in all
Trucks, SUV's and RV's. Even on the deck of power boats, to be used as a tender. And remember, no trailer required.
The first outing was supposed to be a test of the seating, balance, stability and controls, to insure design specifications
were met, or exceeded. I did build the optional 4 foot extended center module, as I will outfit it with the sailing rig later on.
What actually occured was a surprise. The boat was so comfortable and responsive that I just cast my day plans aside
and went for a lengthly cruise. Of course I rocked the boat from side to side, and shifted my seating position fore and aft,
to see just how seaworthy it was. None of these motions had any great effect on the hulls performance. This is still a flat
bottomed boat, but with the pointed bow and increased water line length, it just went smoothly around the lake. I have yet
to take it out in windy conditions, so I will reserve comment about it's rough water capability until a later date.
Overall, the building process was very straight forward. I have settled in on a construction type that is easy to build, even
for first timers. Little things, like strengthening the attachment points and adding chine protection, along with beefy skids,
all contribute to a more rugged and durable little boat. Sealing the plywood has been an ongoing concern of mine. Good
plywood is hard to find these days. So, on this boat, all plywood surfaces were treated with Thompsons clear wood
preservative after assembly, but prior to applying a finish. The end result is a plywood boat that can be exposed to the
elements for a longer period of time without absorbing moisture. Only time will tell just how effective this will be, but simple
tests performed on small sheets of 1/4" ply give me much hope. I use Marine Spar Varnish as a finish for two reasons. It
does a good job of sealing the soft wood surfaces of non-marine ply, and it looks great. It shows off the craftsmanship, or
lack thereof, of the builder. So, sanding between each coat of varnish is imperrative.
It will be quite a few weeks before I complete the sailing version of TOTER-2, as the weather out here this time of year is
not conducive to sailing. This will be a separate plan set, defining the assembly of the sail, rudder, mast, boom and rigging,
and possibly sponsons for additional stability. The mast and boom will fold for storage in the 4' center hull module. You
may notice that the mast step is in place, as are the stay supports and rudder mount.
Each new boat I design and build becomes my favorite, and this is no exception. I see TOTER-2 as a competent multipurpose
little craft, capable of being a fishing boat, a daysailer, a tender or just a simple rowboat for casual trips around a
local pond, tributary or lake. At 75 pounds max, it can be lifted by most anyone, and the heaviest section only weighs 30
pounds. It's primary feature is still it's portability. It can fit in almost any vehicle, and it can be stored just about anywhere
there is an extra 5 square feet of space!
The complete plan set is 36 pages, and includes a variety of descriptive photos and sketches, as well as a bill of materials
and source suggestions. As always, I am available to assist the novice builder.